I keep saying that I should share more of my original vintage dresses on here as well as all my lovely repro pieces, and now I am finally getting round to it! I have been collecting vintage dresses for a few years now and I’m hoping to get pictures of all of them. I’m quite good at clearing out my wardrobe and will often sell or donate my dresses after a few wears, otherwise I would run out of room pretty quickly! So even when things leave my possession it’s nice to have photographs and visual records of them.

Today’s dress has actually been with me for some time. The main reason is because I managed to damage it the very first time I wore it, so its been at the bottom of my repair pile for ages. Last week I gave it some much needed tlc and now I can wear and enjoy it through the summer.

The dress is made from lovely light cotton, making it perfect for the summer. I bought this one on eBay for about £35 I think. If you’re building a vintage wardrobe yourself, cotton 50s dresses are a great place to start. Larger sizes can be harder to come by, but if you persevere they are out there.

I’ve worn my dress with a flower garland, which I picked up from New Look a couple of years ago. I’ve teamed it up with my yellow Miss L Fire shoes, which I adore. My bangles are all vintage bakelite, I’ve been slowly building up my bakelite collection over some time. I love mixing and matching them to go with different outfits.

It’s been lovely to have a bit of sunshine over the last few weeks and to be able to finally wear some of my prettiest dresses!

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been adding lots of new stock to my Etsy store, including loads of lovely summer dresses. Everything dates from the 50s to 70s and there’s a selection of sizes. I’ll be adding new stuff every week so watch this space for updates.

I’m looking forward to sharing more of the vintage treasures from my wardrobe over the next few weeks, as well as tips on building your own vintage wardrobe. If you have any vintage related questions please let me know.

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Being a bit of a dress addict, I don’t often wear trousers or separates other than my jeans on casual days. I’ve been wanting a pair of 40s style trousers for ages. I’m quite fussy and having a long body, I prefer trousers that are very high waisted. I recently tried the 40s Style Swing Trousers from Pretty Retro in the Denim Blue colour way. These are a great start to building a staple wardrobe of vintage style separates and they are definitely a very useful addition to my wardrobe.

I love the simplicity of these trousers, which also come in navy and red. They simply fasten at the side with a row of three buttons and this really helps to create a great fit. They are light enough to hang well and are cool enough to wear in the summer. They are made from a poly, viscose and elastane blend, giving them just enough stretch to fit comfortably.

I opted for my usual size 14, having checked the size guide on the Pretty Retro website. I was really impressed that they were spot on fit wise and the stretch really helped to get that perfect fit. The trousers are quite long at 31″, which is why I opted for heels, I have also worn them with my flat brogues and they worked pretty well too.

The trousers are just one part of the fabulous selection of separates from Pretty Retro, who are the sister company of well known repro brand House of Foxy. In addition to the pair I tried they also have a great selection of simple trousers, capris and skirts alongside some lovely tops and blouses to go with them. Most things come in black, navy, cream and red, so you can mix and match the looks. The range is perfect for both wearing to vintage events and for everyday things like work and casual days. They are also perfect to mix in with a wardrobe of original vintage items.

I’ve had quite a few things from Pretty Retro now and I’ve always been so happy with the quality. My favourite thing about their clothing is the attention to detail that goes into the designs. Although their styles are quite simple, things like gathers and tucks and good quality materials really make them stand out from other mid-priced reproduction brands. Although I still, need to get used to wearing trousers, as they’re a little out of my comfort zone, I’m really looking forward to trying different tops and shoes with these and mixing and matching my looks. I’d also really like to get them in a darker shade as well. The trousers I tried are priced at £42 and can be bought online from the Pretty Retro website.

*Thank you to Pretty Retro for sending me this dress for the purposes of review. All opinions as always are my own. 

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It feels like ages since I shared a recipe on the blog. I’ve still been doing a lot of baking, but mostly for other projects and articles. I thought it was high time I shared some vintage inspired baked treats on here again. Todays recipe is adapted from one I found in a vintage 50s recipe book. These are easy to whip up and quick to bake.

The recipe makes a very thin cake, which is then iced and cut into squares for a delicious snack. These would be great as part of a party or afternoon tea.

Ingredients:

85g Butter

85g Caster sugar

½ tsp Baking powder

15 g cocoa powder

85g Flour

2 Eggs

Milk

Chocolate Icing to Decorate (I make a basic icing by mixing icing sugar and coco powder with water)

Flaked almonds to decorate

Directions:

Preheat oven to 220ºc Grease a baking tray (I used a 9×9″ tin)

Sift the flour and baking powder together in a mixing bowl

In a separate bowl cream the butter and sugar until pale.

Stir the cocoa into the butter mixture and beat until well mixed.

Add the eggs one at a time and beast each well before adding the next.

Fold in flour mixture and mix lightly.

Add a little milk as required.

Pour the mixture into the tray and spread evenly.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Turn out and cool on a wire rack.

Pour the icing onto the flat side of the cake coating it evenly.

Sprinkle with flaked almonds and slice once set.

If you enjoyed this, I’m still writing monthly food articles in Vintage Life Magazine. In the latest issue, I’ve been baking with flowers and have featured recipes for a Rosewater Cake and Lavender Shortbread biscuits.

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I love it when a reproduction or vintage style item, looks like it could be an original. I really feel that way about the Lindy Bop Maybelle jacket and dress sets. They really do pay homage to that early 60s Mad Men era style. When I went out last week with my mum and dad they were genuinely amazed that this wasn’t a real vintage find.

The set was hugely popular when it first launched in a couple of different colours and I was delighted to see lots of new additions this season. I’m not usually a big wiggle or pencil dress wearer, because I prefer to hide my tummy and hips, which definitely show the signs of having had two babies, but I really like the slightly heavier fabric and lining on this dress, which definitely help smoothen things out a bit.

When Lindy Bop contacted me, to see if I wanted to review one of their new items, I chose this straight away. I love anything in a mustard colour and I thought this would be a great addition to my wardrobe. It makes a nice change from my usual dresses and it’s useful to own something a bit smarter and more formal.

The jacquard fabric definitely reminds me of real vintage pieces I’ve come across in the past and I really like that it had a little bit of stretch. The combination of fitted dress and slightly more boxy jacket works really well too and gives it a very authentic feel.

Quality wise I’m pretty impressed. I like the little details like the concealed zip, fabric covered buttons and the bow on the dress. The lining is a great addition, which I think makes the dress fit and hang better. The set is also finished very well, giving it a more expensive feel. At just £55 I think its great value for money.

Fit wise I went for my usual size 14 and it was absolutely fine. With Lindy Bop it is always worth looking at the size guide, as they really do vary a lot.

I’ve worn the outfit with a pair of Hotter Viviene heels. I think it works well to keep the outfit simple and not go overboard with accessories, so something simple and cream is perfect.

The outfit comes in a selection of colours. If a fitted dress isn’t your thing, then there is also a very similar style in the same fabric with a fuller skirt, which is also absolutely gorgeous.

Top Row – Maybelle Dresses Bottom Row – Marianne Dresses (more colours available)

Which is your favourite colour and style?

*Thank you to Lindy Bop for sending me this dress for the purposes of review. All opinions as always are my own. 

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As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I absolutely love trying different teas. Today in celebration of National Tea Day I thought I’d share a few of my favourites from my collection. I particularly like loose leaf tea, although there are a few tea bags on the list too.

Of course I do drink a lot of classic English breakfast and coffee too, but as they’re a bit boring I’ve just included the more interesting and exotic ones. My collection has definitely grown since Fay encouraged me to start buying tea from T2 and it’s definitely become a bit more of a habit over the last few months!

For the morning: I love a classic Earl Grey and my new favourite is Girly Grey, a soft and fragrant tea which contains Black tea, orange peel, lemon peel and cornflower petals. It’s the perfect tea for when you fancy a classic without going for a heavier tea. This is perfect with a splash of milk and goes down a treat with a slice of cake.

Get up and Glow was my first ever T2 purchase. It’s the perfect tea for a morning pick-me-up and has just enough caffeine to set you up for a busy day. It has a long list of ingredients including cocoa husks, yerba mate, elderberry, beetroot, cocoa beans, lemon myrtle, dandelion root, raspberries and guarana, giving it a fruity herbal flavour. This isn’t on the website at the moment, but may be available in store.

For wellbeing: I’ve been drinking Womankind from Pukka Tea for a long time. It’s a lovely fruity concoction designed especially for women. It contains cranberry, rose, shatavari and vanilla. Its a very fruity tea, that tastes absolutely gorgeous and I’d definitely recommend it for keeping your body in balance.

I recently got Beauty Queen from T2 as a mothers day gift. Firstly I absolutely love the tin and having tried it a few times in the shop, it was top of my tea wish list for a while. It’s packed with beautifying ingredients including green tea, jasmine, nettle leaves, liquorice root and moringa, which are all great for the skin. I love the hints of jasmine in this one but at £18 a tin it is definitely a bit of a luxury. Worth every penny of course!

Feeling Minty: I have countless varieties of mint tea, it’s one of my absolute favourites and with so many different options it’s worth stocking up on a few. I always opt for blends that contain spearmint, as its great for balancing your hormones. I’m currently really enjoying Mint Mix from T2 this zingy refreshing mint tea contains peppermint, spearmint and lemon verbena. I always feel fantastic after drinking this, I’ll often take a cup of it to the bath with me when I have a bit of a pamper session.

For a slightly more interesting mint tea I go for Pukka’s Mint Matcha Green which contains spearmint, sencha green tea and matcha powder for a refreshing lift. I love that pukka teas are organic and this one tastes fantastic.

For a warmth: I like spicy and deeper flavours, especially in the evening. A longterm favourite of mine would have to be Peppermint and Liquorice from Pukka. The strong liquorice flavour really comes though in this one and it is both sweet and tangy. If you’re not a fan of liquorice avoid this one as it’s pretty strong, but if like me you’re a fan then this is an absolutely beautiful tea.

My favourite winter warmer, is too good not to drink all year round. Sweet Spice is a beautiful mix from T2, just look at all those beautiful ingredients. The tea contains meringue, orange zest, rose, sultanas, cardamon and clove. This tea is just stunning and even makes the house smell amazing while it brews. I’ve heard this one won’t be around much longer, so stock up while you can.

For Bedtime: For me bedtime is all about rituals, when I get the chance I like to unwind before bed. I’ll have a relaxing bath, thoroughly cleanse and moisturise my skin and relax in bed with a book or some colouring and a mug of relaxing tea. I’ve recently been having Sweet Dreams from T2 most nights. This blend is so soothing it makes me feel super sleepy when I drink it. It contains Chamomile, apple, linden and lavender and smells and tastes really lovely.

When I was in Whittard on Wednesday I picked their Dreamtime instant tea. This is like a sweet and soothing night cap without the alcohol! It contains honey, apricot and vanilla and compared to most of my herbal loose leaf teas this one is very sweet, but I love the flavour and felt really confronted when I tried it for the first time yesterday.

What are your favourite teas? I’d love to hear your recommendations.

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